Marcus Trescothick – the old Alastair Cook

by Rich Abbott

Alastair Cook and Marcus Trescothick have more in common than you might think. Despite their style, both are left-handed England openers who overcame technical issues to score 14 Test centuries and both enjoyed significant opening partnerships with Andrew Strauss. They even share a Christmas Day birthday.

Less likely than this comparison were the circumstances in which Trescothick found himself this morning: in a deserted skate park in West London. It was dark and cold – the snow blowing through the open sides of the building – and the soundtrack to a 1970s horror movie playing in the background. Marcus Trescothick filled the foreground and was smashing up cars. Aided by a cricket ball and Mongoose bat, I should add.

There he was, one of the most destructive players of his generation, in his element. He looked as contented as a man with the time to spend his days catching up on Ashes highlights should. Except that, as we all know, were circumstances a little different, he’d be out there, smashing up Aussies instead.

“The pressure of the situation looks good fun but I’m purely a supporter now,” he says. “I can just sit back and enjoy it and support the team as much as I can. I think we’re going to win the series – we have a great chance of victory in the next Test.”

Watching Trescothick bat is always a joy but in the last couple of seasons it’s come with a caveat. I can’t help but squint and imagine the Somerset dragon as Three English lions. The eye, timing and power are all still there, still enthralling, still international-class. But listening to him provides a more important perspective: Marcus Trescothick is content, so I should be too.

Ten thousand miles away Alastair Cook must be pretty content right now. Cook’s place in the team is never more than a loose prod outside off stump from coming under scrutiny. At 25 he’s scored as many Test centuries as Nasser Hussain. As recently as a few weeks ago many didn’t want him in the team.

Trescothick feels his pain: “I’m delighted for Cooky. He was under so much pressure. People have questioned his position – I was disappointed when it was happening but delighted he’s come through. I hope that puts the issue to bed, though you’ve always got to maintain the highest level possible.”

Cook happy and Trescothick content. Among other things, Alastair Cook’s second innings 235* was closure. England fans must get used to the idea that Trescothick is England’s past. England’s present just scored a double-century down under.

And not even Tresco managed that.

Marcus Trescothick was speaking at his new signing with Mongoose Cricket

Rich Abbott is a freelance journalist. Read a full interview with Trescothick about county captaincy, one-day cricket and Somerset’s bridesmaid season in the next issue of The Wisden Cricketer – out on December 17.

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